Disabled, Wilfred Owen



'ghastly suit of grey'- This is an alliteration, emphasises his awful appearance. Grey suggests colourlessness (links to the ahead contrasts with colour)., unhealthy grey, drained. Suggests old age... even tho he is so young which we realise later on.

'He's lost his colour'- metaphor for the loss of life, vibrancy, self and blood. He looks grey now and drained of life and energy.

'leap of purple spurted'- Vivid langauge of strong colour. This is a metaphor for how he lost vibrancy of life, his personality, the self he was, through the series injury to his leg which resulted in it getting amputated.

'why dont they come And put him into bed?'- end his life, finish off. Rhetorical question here suggests his feelings of 'why'.

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'glow-lamps'- This is contrasting with grey darkness in the first stanza.

'he threw away'- suggests waste or thoughtlessness. Strange to waste one's knees.

'warm...hands'- Contrasts with the 'shivered' and cold in the first stanza. Past.

'queer disease'- homosexuality, suggesting that women feel no attraction now.

'artist silly for his face'- suggests he was attractive, a potentiol model.

'last year'- this shows the reader just how quickly his life changed and that he's actually quite young.

'poured it down shell holes'- gives the idea that war drained away his life. The use of the word 'poured' makes it sound wasteful, careless.

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'he liked a blood smear down his leg'- recalling a football injury which he felt a certain pride in at the time. Glory and chivalry- expectations.

'drunk a peg'- he was drunk, decided to join when he was drunk and unsure.

'He wonders why'- happy memories are interrupted by bitter regret from the present. This also shows that he doesn't even understand why he went to war.

'someone said he'd look a god in kilts'- someone said he'd look good, yet he can't seem to recall exactly who, suggesting it was not someone important, yet he still did it.

'wrote his lie' 'smiling'- This hsows he lied about his age to be allowed to join. That the poet uses the word 'smiling' suggests bitterness, suggesting that the officials should check ages and not smile at youngsters throwing thier lives away.

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'no fears of Fear'- capital letter suggests personification- emphasising the horrors of the trenches, something that the people had no idea about before they joined the war. It suggests the hugeness of the fear faced by the soldiers, unlike anything experienced previously by these young people.

'drums and cheers'- this is the glamour and the excitement that the man was hoping for, it is similar to the cheers at the football. Instead he got no glory, only dissappointment and unattractiveness.

'solemn man...thanked him'- Solemn man is probably a vicar/priest. Italics emphasises the surprise and bitterness of the young soldier at the small bare appreciation he recieved. Seems pointless, he wanted girls and glory not vicars.

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'rules consider wise'- Cannot make his own decisions, no control over himself. Also ironic that 'rules' weren't considered when he singed up underage.

'How cold and late it is!'- he seems to be tired...wondering why he is still alive, Cold suggests the grave, late as in end of life. He wonders why he is not dead yet.

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  • Iambic pentameter
  • Rhyme scheme, makes it smooth to read, contrasting with the borken tragedy it describes. However the variation in stanza length and rhyme pattern illustrate the imperfect, broken condition of the man's life.
  • 'poured it down shell holes'- long sentence here is used to represent the pouring away of his life, the sentence flows on as his blood flowed away.
  • Cyclical structure, begins and ends with the same scene of him waiting to be put to bed, suggesting how long he's been waiting for. Moreoever it suggests the repetitiveness of his days now that he is broken and helpless. His boredom.
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